Tide vs ANNA: comparing business bank accounts


When you’re busy writing a business plan, deciding on your company name, and determining your marketing strategy – it’s understandable if opening a business bank account isn’t top of your priority list for starting a new business.

However, if you’re hoping to secure investment for expansion at some point in the future, it’s a good idea to open a business bank account at the very beginning.

In our latest article comparing Tide with other challenger banks, we’ll give you the lowdown on how Tide and ANNA business bank accounts compare.

Table of contents

  • What are the challenger banks
  • Tide vs ANNA: account basics
  • How much do accounts cost?
  • Add-ons and paid plans
  • How easy is it to pay in cash or cheques?
  • How easy is it to open a business bank account with Tide vs ANNA?
  • Using your card in the UK and abroad
  • The all-important customer support
  • Wrapping-up

What are the challenger banks?

The 2008 financial crisis made governments around the world realise that having a small number of massive banks had created an unacceptable risk. So, the rules around starting banks and providing financial services were updated to encourage more startups and innovators into the market.

These new banks began to challenge the big established players, thanks to their fast-moving innovations, modern features, digital brilliance, and their focus on meeting specific consumer needs.

Tide and ANNA (Absolutely No Nonsense Admin) are two of these new, digital-first challengers. Let’s look at how they match up.

Tide vs ANNA: account basics

Tide and ANNA both provide business accounts with integrated invoicing and accounting features.

Tide provides business bank accounts through ClearBank. This is covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), so deposits up to £85,000 are guaranteed and protected.. 

ANNA provides an e-money account through PayrNet Ltd. E-money accounts are protected by the FCA but not by the FSCS. Tide previously provided e-money accounts with Prepay Solutions (PPS) but all new accounts are ClearBank bank accounts.

In terms of protection, the main difference between an e-money account and an FSCS-protected bank account is what would happen if your provider failed.

With an FSCS-protected bank account, up to £85,000 of your deposits would be returned to you before any fees or charges were deducted. Deposits in an e-money account would not have this protection, so you could get back less than your balance.

Mobile vs online access

Tide and ANNA both focus on making powerful mobile apps that help you take control of your business finances wherever you are.

Unlike ANNA, Tide also allows you to log in from a web browser on your laptop or computer.  This can come in handy if you find some tasks fiddly or time-consuming to complete on a mobile device.

Accounting integrations

ANNA currently offers integration with Xero, whereas Tide offers accounting integrations with Xero, Sage, FreeAgent, KashFlow, Quickbooks, Crunch, ClearBooks, and Reckon.

Tide ANNA
Cash deposits ✔️ ✔️
Freeze/unfreeze card in the app ✔️ ✔️
Extra cards for employees ✔️
£5 month on Free plan or free
with £9.99/ + VAT month plan)
✔️
(with the £14.90/month plan)
Accountancy software integration ✔️ ✔️ Xero only
FSCS protected ✔️
For accounts provided by ClearBank
Information correct as of November 2022

Tide vs ANNA: how much do accounts cost?

Tide offers a free business bank account with integrated accounting and invoicing features. You can upgrade to a paid Tide plan if you want additional features (including priority support, member perks, and access to a legal helpline) and a number of free transfers per month.

ANNA also offers a free ‘Pay as you go’ account with integrated invoicing and accounting features, plus ‘Business’ and ‘Big business’ upgrade options for those with more complex needs.

Tide ANNA
Monthly account charge Free Free
Fee for cash deposits £2.50 for deposits up to £500
or 0.5% of cash amount for deposits over £500
(at Post Offices)
3% (at PayPoints)
1% per transaction at PayPoints
Fee for payments in or out 20p each 20p each
Information correct as of November 2022

Tide vs ANNA: add-ons and paid plans

ANNA plans

ANNA offers their Business and Big business plans at £14.90 + VAT and £49.90 + VAT per month, respectively. Variables across the pricing tiers include:

  • Increased free money transfers
  • More free ATM withdrawals
  • Free use of personal payment links
  • Additional debit cards for your team

Tide paid account plans

You can upgrade to Tide Plus (£9.99 per month +VAT) to get 20 free transfers per month, access to a legal helpline, and telephone support. You can also get a free company Expense Card to help you and your colleagues pay for expenses efficiently.

Tide Pro costs £18.99 +VAT per month and comes with phone support between 9am and 6pm Monday to Friday, unlimited free transfers per month and 2 free Expense Cards.

The Tide Cashback plan (£49.99 per month +VAT) is best suited to established businesses. With this plan, you get:

  • 0.5% cashback on all card purchases
  • a dedicated team of account managers
  • 150 free transfers per month, and
  • 3 company Expense Cards for your team.

Cashback is earned on all card spending, including purchases on company Expense Cards.

Tide vs ANNA: how easy is it to pay in cash or cheques?

Tide accepts cash deposits through the Post Office and at PayPoints. Post Office deposits are charged at £2.50 for deposits up to £500 or 0.5% of the cash amount for deposits over £500. PayPoints charge 3% of the deposited sum.

ANNA allows you to pay cash into your account at PayPoints only. You can deposit £300 at a time, up to £500 a day, and no more than £1,000 a month. Paying in cash costs 1% per deposit.

Neither Tide nor ANNA accepts cheques.

Tide vs ANNA: how easy is it to open a business bank account?

Tide ANNA
Apply through the app ✔️ ✔️
Quick application ✔️ ✔️
Credit check
Card delivery fee Free Free
Card delivery timescale 2-5 working days 2-5 working days
information correct as of November 2022

Tide account sign-up

Opening your Tide account takes minutes once you download the Tide app. You will need a form of identification, such as passport, driving licence or European National ID card.

You may also need to provide evidence that your business is active, such as HMRC registration or signed contracts.

You won’t be subjected to a hard credit check and your accompanying bank card will be supplied for free. If you lose your card, there’s no fee to order a replacement.

You can also create and use your Tide account online using a web browser, if you prefer.

ANNA account sign-up

The ANNA account set-up process is equally quick and easy through the ANNA app. New cards are typically received within 5 days, but ANNA also issues a virtual card and a business bank account number and sort code within 3 minutes – so you can start receiving and making payments immediately.

Tide vs ANNA: using your card in the UK and abroad

Tide ANNA
Foreign transaction charges Free Free
Foreign ATM withdrawal charges £1 each £1 each
information correct as of November 2022

You can use both Tide and ANNA cards abroad. 

With Tide, you get free foreign card transactions and pay a £1 flat fee when you use an ATM abroad. Unlike many other digital or high street banks, there is no charge if you withdraw over a certain limit.

With ANNA, card transactions are free in any country and it costs £1 to make an ATM withdrawal.

Tide vs ANNA: customer support

Tide ANNA
Customer service via the app Live chat Live chat
Customer service via telephone ✔️ booked callbacks only ✔️ booked callbacks only
Online knowledge base ✔️ ✔️
information correct as of November 2022

Free Tide account holders can contact Member Support through the app, or send an email to request a call back during working hours. There is a dedicated line for reporting lost or stolen cards.

Tide Plus, Pro and Cashback members can access direct telephone support, as well as a 24/7 legal helpline for support with tax or contractual questions.

ANNA offers 24/7 support by email, through live chat within the app, or via a pre-arranged callback telephone service.

Tide vs ANNA: wrapping up

As you can see, Tide and ANNA both offer next-generation business bank accounts that seamlessly integrate money and accounting.

Both offer powerful mobile apps that enable you to check your finances and send invoices before you leave the job site. And both help you calculate your VAT returns and simplify your bookkeeping. 

However, only Tide offers FSCS protection and the convenience of an online portal.


Sources used for this article

  1. ANNA website https://anna.money/
  2. ANNA support https://help.anna.money/en/

Caroline Wire

Caroline Wire

Senior Small Business Copywriter

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